A Very Serious Look at Chesty the Marine Corps Mascot

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  • The Marine Corps mascot, Lance Cpl. Chesty XIV, poses next to a decorated Christmas tree at the Home of the Commandants in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2013. (Mallory S. VanderSchans/U.S. Marine Corps)
    The Marine Corps mascot, Lance Cpl. Chesty XIV, poses next to a decorated Christmas tree at the Home of the Commandants in Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps/Mallory S. VanderSchans)
  • Cpl. Chesty XIV stands over Recruit Chesty XV on a PT stand at Marine Barracks Washington, March 19, 2018. Chesty XV took over as the Marine Corps mascot later that year and was promoted to lance corporal in 2019. (Taryn Escott/U.S. Marine Corps)
    Cpl. Chesty XIV stands over Recruit Chesty XV on a PT stand at Marine Barracks Washington, March 19, 2018. Chesty XV is wearing his glow belt and observing his portholes with Chesty XIV. Chesty XV is awaiting training and is expected to start within the next week. (Marine Corps/Taryn Escott)

Everyone knows that Marines take everything in the world very, very seriously. Those things include: yelling, rolling up and down uniform sleeves, having impressively large biceps and their Marine Corps Barracks mascot, Chesty the bulldog.

There are many Chestys in the Marine Corps' history, and while most of them are English Bulldogs, the one with the most war experience and legendary, heroics acts was a human. Lt. Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller received five Navy Crosses, one U.S. Army Distinguished Service Cross and the Silver Star for service spanning decades and multiple wars.

But this article isn't about the first Chesty, as impressive as he was.

This article is in honor of an extremely important holiday, National Puppy Day, and the ... uh ... seriousness that is embodied in the many Chesty bulldogs.

Since the beginning of time, or, rather, since the Marines started uploading digital photos to the internet, officials faithfully have chronicled the cuteness and lineage of fine Chesty mascot service.

At Military.com, we know this archive spanning 16 years and a parade of four Chestys must be publicized for the good of America, and stuff like that.

It is for that reason we bring you ...

7 Adorable Photos of 4 Different Chesty Bulldogs

In 2008 or so, Chesty XII made his internet debut. Although 11 Chestys obviously came before him, none of them was internet famous, so they don't count.

Col. W. Blake Crowe, commanding officer of Marine Barracks Washington, pins the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal on Sgt. Chesty XII, the former mascot of the Barracks, during his retirement ceremony in Washington, July 25, 2008. (U.S. Marine Corps/Chris Dobbs)
Col. W. Blake Crowe, commanding officer of Marine Barracks Washington, pins the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal on Sgt. Chesty XII, the former mascot of the Barracks, during his retirement ceremony in Washington, July 25, 2008. (U.S. Marine Corps/Chris Dobbs)
Col. W. Blake Crowe, commanding officer of Marine Barracks Washington, pins the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal on Sgt. Chesty XII, the former mascot of the Barracks, during his retirement ceremony in Washington, July 25, 2008. (U.S. Marine Corps/Chris Dobbs)

 

Chesty XII started his gig in 2002. And in 2008, with six years of standing around or accidentally napping on the job during the Barracks' evening parade under his collar, Chesty XII retired and let Chesty XIII take over.

Sgt. Chesty XIII plays with Sgt. Chesty XII, the official mascot of Marine Barracks Washington, during a parade practice at Marine Barracks Washington, July 25. Chesty XII would retire minutes later and be succeeded by Chesty XIII.
Sgt. Chesty XIII plays with Sgt. Chesty XII, the official mascot of Marine Barracks Washington, during a parade practice at Marine Barracks Washington, July 25. Chesty XII would retire minutes later and be succeeded by Chesty XIII.

 

Chesty XIII was clearly not as good at his job as Chesty XII (just kidding, I have no idea why he left) and passed the job off to Chesty XIV in 2013.

The outgoing Marine Corps mascot, Sgt. Chesty XIII, lays on the ground following the Eagle Globe and Anchor pinning ceremony for Private First Class Chesty XIV, incoming Marine Corps mascot, at Marine Barracks Washington in Washington, D.C., April 8, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps/Mallory S. VanderSchans)
The outgoing Marine Corps mascot, Sgt. Chesty XIII, lays on the ground following the Eagle Globe and Anchor pinning ceremony for Private First Class Chesty XIV, incoming Marine Corps mascot, at Marine Barracks Washington in Washington, D.C., April 8, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps/Mallory S. VanderSchans)

 

The outgoing Marine Corps mascot, Sgt. Chesty XIII, right, nuzzles the incoming Marine mascot, Private First Class Chesty XIV, following the Eagle Globe and Anchor pinning ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington in Washington, D.C., April 8, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps/Mallory S. VanderSchans)

 

Chesty XIV was kind of the greatest — or at least the most internet famous. Videos and pictures galore for Chesty XIV!

The incoming Marine Corps mascot, Private First Class Chesty XIV, following his Eagle Globe and Anchor pinning ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington in Washington, D.C., April 8, 2013 (U.S. Marine Corps/Mallory S. VanderSchans)
The incoming Marine Corps mascot, Private First Class Chesty XIV, following his Eagle Globe and Anchor pinning ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington in Washington, D.C., April 8, 2013 (U.S. Marine Corps/Mallory S. VanderSchans)

 

Cpl. Chesty XIV, mascot of Marine Barracks Washington, along with his handler, Sgt. Katie Maynard, visit the Office of the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps at the Pentagon, June 25, 2015. (U.S. Marine Corps/Melissa Marnell)
Cpl. Chesty XIV, mascot of Marine Barracks Washington, along with his handler, Sgt. Katie Maynard, visit the Office of the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps at the Pentagon, June 25, 2015. Chesty XIV was replaced by Chesty XV in 2018. (Melissa Marnell/U.S. Marine Corps)

Chesty XIV has made it five or so years in the job as well (that's the dog version of 20 and out), and on March 20, Marine Corps officials announced that Chesty XV is now on the job. Chesty XV was promoted to lance corporal in August 2019.

 Cpl. Chesty XIV stands over Chesty XV wearing a Campaign Cover at  Marine Barracks Washington, March 19, 2018. Chesty the XIV has served for five years and awaits Chesty the XV to complete training to take his place. (Marine Corps/Taryn Escott)
Cpl. Chesty XIV stands over Chesty XV wearing a campaign cover at Marine Barracks Washington, March 19, 2018. Chesty XIV served for five years and was replaced by Chesty XV in 2018. Chesty XV was promoted to lance corporal the next year. (Taryn Escott/U.S. Marine Corps)

 

Warning: Cuteness overload to follow:

Although no one said for sure, some people (or maybe just us) wonder if Chesty XIV was forced into retirement because he couldn't handle the pressure of shilling for the military's new Blended Retirement System.

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